Bethany England fires Tottenham to safety with win over Reading
Tottenham secured their place in next season’s Women’s Super League after a Bethany England brace inspired a 4-1 win over Reading.
January recruit England opened the scoring with a close-range header and took her tally for Spurs to 11 goals with a poacher’s finish after half-time.
Celin Bizet scored in between for Vicky Jepson’s team before Kit Graham added the icing on the cake with her first goal since returning from anterior cruciate ligament damage suffered at the end of 2021.
Justine Vanhaevermaet netted a late consolation for basement club Reading, but they now trail Tottenham by six points with one match remaining and could be relegated if 11th-placed Leicester beat West Ham on Sunday.
This clash took place at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after Spurs had lost 3-1 to Brentford in the Premier League in the first ever competitive double-header between a men and women’s side.
While the majority of disgruntled home supporters had left by the time the WSL six-pointer kicked off, it did not take long for the hosts to give those still inside the stadium something to cheer about.
After Rosella Ayane had been denied by Reading’s Grace Moloney and Becky Spencer kept out Sanne Troelsgaard’s header, Tottenham broke the deadlock in the 29th minute.
A short corner routine did the trick, with Molly Bartrip able to chip to the back post where England headed home.
It was 2-0 to Spurs four minutes before half-time when a slick team move was finished off by Bizet, who collected Eveliina Summanen’s pass and drilled into the bottom corner to give Jepson’s side a two-goal cushion at the break.
Tottenham wrapped up the points and WSL safety with 62 minutes played when Easther Mayi Kith’s poor back-pass was latched upon by England and she rounded Maloney to score her 11th goal for the club since January.
There was still time for Spurs to add a fourth with 15 minutes left when substitute Graham was sent through by Bartrip and curled home to find the net for the first time since her long injury lay-off.
While Vanhaevermaet headed a late effort for Reading, it was Tottenham’s day with WSL safety finally secured.